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Biden-Harris Administration Announces 22 Recompete Pilot Program Finalists

As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, Department of Commerce selects communities primed to reduce unemployment and establish long-term economic growth to compete for implementation awards

The Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), today will announce the 22 finalists of the Distressed Area Recompete Pilot Program (Recompete). Recompete targets the hardest-hit and most economically distressed areas where prime-age (25-54 years) employment is significantly lower than the national average, with the goal to close this gap through flexible, locally-driven investments. President Biden will highlight the announcement during a trip to Milwaukee, where he will announce that a proposal to revitalize and invest in Milwaukee’s 30th Street Industrial Corridor was selected as a Recompete Finalist. 

Authorized by the CHIPS and Science Act, Recompete is a key part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda – a key pillar of Bidenomics. Recompete will invest $200 million in economic and workforce development projects that connect workers to good jobs in geographically diverse and persistently distressed communities across the country. 

“Recompete helps fulfill President Biden’s promise that no community in America will be left behind as we continue to grow our nation’s economy and invest in American workers,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “These Recompete finalists and grant recipients have presented a wide range of inspiring solutions to create jobs, develop long-term economic growth, and realize the full potential in communities that for too long have been overlooked or counted out.” 

These Recompete Finalists are located across 20 states and Territories and represent a cross-section of urban and rural regions. Of the 22 Finalists, seven are focused exclusively on rural American communities and five are led by or involve Tribal organizations as a primary partner. Additionally, seven Finalists’ plans involve labor organizations as part of their proposed investments. 

In the two-phase competition, Phase 1 finalists will be invited to apply for implementation grants for their Recompete Plans in Phase 2. 

In addition to announcing the Phase 1 finalists, the Department of Commerce launched the Recompete Pilot Program Phase 2 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). Phase 2 investments will range from $20-$50 million and can be used to support a wide range of implementation activities across workforce development, business and entrepreneur development, infrastructure, and additional planning, predevelopment, or technical assistance. 

EDA also awarded 24 Strategy Development Grants (SDG) to help communities significantly increase local coordination and planning activities. Such development could make selected grantees more competitive for future Recompete funding. 

As President Biden has said many times: we all just want a fair shot. Recompete helps make it possible for more Americans in more communities to find a good-paying job that puts them and their families on the path toward success. By equitably investing in new job creation opportunities across America, we can help fulfil our promise that no American, and no community, is ever left behind,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves. 

“The President vowed to grow the economy from the middle out and the bottom up including by helping communities that have been left behind make a comeback. Programs like the Recompete Program, which invests in community-based coalitions, will help make this a reality,” said Director of the White House National Economic Council Lael Brainard. 

Eligible applicants included local and state governments, Tribal governments, political subdivisions of a State or other entity, non-profits, Economic Development Districts, and coalitions of any of these entities that serve or are contained within an eligible geographic area. To support applicants in determining if they are in an Eligible Area, EDA, in partnership with Argonne National Laboratory, launched the Recompete Eligibility Mapping Tool. 

The Phase 1 finalists were selected from more than 500 applications from lead applicants representing nonprofits, local government, economic development organizations, educational institutions, and tribal government and organizations. Together, the 22 Phase 1 Finalists represent nearly $800 million in preliminary funding requests that will be refined in their Phase 2 applications. 

“These outstanding Recompete finalists and strategy development grant recipients exemplify the focused employment and job creation strategies required to address the unique, long-standing needs of communities,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “We look forward to supporting these communities as they work to reduce the employment gap and establish models for long-term economic growth we can apply across America.” 

The Recompete Finalists are:  

The Strategy Development Grant (SDG) Recipients are:  

(*Signifies applicant is both a Recompete Finalist and Strategy Development Grantee) 

Read more about the Recompete Pilot Program at eda.gov/recompete

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov) 

The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

Originally posted at https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2023/12/biden-harris-administration-announces-22-recompete-pilot-program

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